Music is a pretty big part of our family's lives. We enjoy many different kinds, from Alabama to opera. I love having the music channels on our cable tv; I can choose the genre to match my mood. I especially love it when I'm home by myself and can really crank up the oldies. Not to worry, no Risky Business dance scenes going on at our house, at least none that I'm willing to admit to. But for that moment in time, the cares of life are drowned out by the energy and innocence of a younger time.
I thought for a long time that my tastes in music was pretty diverse. Then God chuckled and sent me to teach at an urban alternative school. Suddenly, much of the music that rarely got past the first two bars on my radio was not only tolerated, but enjoyed. Not only was I turning up the volume on "I Feel Good", I was bragging that James Brown was from the neck of the woods where my family shopped before we moved up north. And yes, at a spring school assembly, after lining my class up in the front of the packed gym for their performance, I was singing along with James loud and proud, and dancing with my students to their utter amazement. ( Shhh, don't tell my kids, they'll never believe it.)
Lately I've been thinking about songs that are significant to me. Ones that remind me of my Camp Fire Girls group, a family member, a special occasion ... And I wonder if I'm the only one that is mentally transported to that place, or time, or person with the first strains of a certain song. Do songs affect your emotions and actions like they do me?
Then I think about John Philip Sousa's rousing military marches, or school fight songs that bring out the cheerleader in us. Or have you been around our senior friends when Glenn Miller's "String of Pearls" is played? Do your remember the music that was played at your wedding, or on your first date? Do you choke up, just a little, at a sports event when everyone in the stadium comes to their feet for "The Star Spangled Banner"? A myriad of genres, tastes and interpretations strengthen the commonality of music that speaks to our souls through its very diversity.
What kind of music do you enjoy? Has your music preferences changed over time, or because of life experiences?
I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.